Many aircraft destroyed in a collision.

Discussion in 'War Against Japan' started by David Layne, May 1, 2022.

  1. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    During World War II in the Pacific Theatre an aircraft either crashed on landing or takeoff and collided with and destroyed a huge amount of aircraft. Can anyone tell me more?
  2. Temujin

    Temujin Member

    I think I need a little bit more info…….where, when… you happen to know it was on land, or aircraft carrier……or are you just searching for info and the above is all you know???
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Looking at - Horrific WWII Statistics

    There are plenty of statistics.... so agreed, it would help if things were narrowed down a great deal more...

    It gets worse.....
    Almost 1,000 Army planes disappeared en route from the US to foreign locations. But an eye-watering 43,581 aircraft were lost overseas including 22,948 on combat missions (18,418 against the Western Axis) and 20,633 attributed to non-combat causes overseas.
    In a single 376 plane raid in August 1943, 60 B-17s were shot down. That was a 16 percent loss rate and meant 600 empty bunks in England .. In 1942-43 it was statistically impossible for bomber crews to complete a 25-mission tour in Europe .
    Pacific theatre losses were far less (4,530 in combat) owing to smaller forces committed.. The worst B-29 mission, against Tokyo on May 25, 1945, cost 26 Superfortresses, 5.6 percent of the 464 dispatched from the Marianas..
    On average, 6,600 American servicemen died per month during WWII, about 220 a day. By the end of the war, over 40,000 airmen were killed in combat theatres and another 18,000 wounded. Some 12,000 missing men were declared dead, including a number "liberated" by the Soviets but never returned. More than 41,000 were captured, half of the 5,400 held by the Japanese died in captivity, compared with one-tenth in German hands. Total combat casualties were pegged at 121,867.
    US manpower made up the deficit. The AAF's peak strength was reached in 1944 with 2,372,000 personnel, nearly twice the previous year's figure.
    The losses were huge---but so were production totals. From 1941 through 1945, American industry delivered more than 276,000 military aircraft. That number was enough not only for US Army, Navy and Marine Corps, but for allies as diverse as Britain, Australia, China and Russia. In fact, from 1943 onward, America produced more planes than Britain and Russia combined. And more than Germany and Japan together 1941-45.
    However, our enemies took massive losses. Through much of 1944, the Luftwaffe sustained uncontrolled hemorrhaging, reaching 25 percent of aircrews and 40 planes a month. And in late 1944 into 1945, nearly half the pilots in Japanese squadrons had flown fewer than 200 hours. The disparity of two years before had been completely reversed.

    I guess there could be a record for the number of combat planes lost in a single accident or to losses due to a combination of enemy action and subsequent non-combat consequences, uncontrolled fires etc. but that could include, for instance the loss of a laden aircraft carrier due to poor fire control, or weapons handling.

    There's a long list here, for example too...

    List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1943–1944) - Wikipedia

    List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft - Wikipedia
    Last edited: May 2, 2022
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  4. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    Well my immediate thought was carrier operations where such event were a not infrequent occurrence. One of the better known Seafire crashes taking out other aircraft.
    Crash-landing on a British Carrier, of a Supermarine Seafire into parked other Seafires (-/279, -/276). - SUPERMARINE.

    Or Hellcats

    Or on a US escort carrier
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  5. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the help so far. The above is all I know except to confirm it was a land based accident.
  6. Ewen Scott

    Ewen Scott Well-Known Member

    There was an incident on Iwo Jima in 1945 where a damaged B-29 left the runway on landing and wiped out 9 P-51D. Photo here of the incident.
    [Photo] A B-29 Superfortress crashed during an attempted emergency landing on Iwo Jima Apr 24, 1945 and ran into nine P-51 Mustangs.

    When you look at the layout of many Pacific airfields laid out on the limited space of islands or hacked from the jungle, the taxiways and dispersals are very close to the runways, generally unlike wartime airfields in Britain. So accidents involving aircraft leaving runways and colliding with dispersed aircraft did occur more frequently.

    Just remembered another such incident that has been reported. 16 Nov 1942 Iron Range Airfield, Cape York Australia. 90th BG. 14 B-24D & 1 B-17F lined up alongside the runway waiting their turn to takeoff at night. Eighth aircraft left runway during its takeoff run. It damaged the nose of one of the others with its port wingtip (removing pitot tubes and astrodome), removed the nose section forward of the cockpit from another (subsequently repaired due to shortage of aircraft in theatre), removed the nose of a third back to the upper turret (w/o), removed the tail from the B-17 (with its starboard wing as it swung through the line of aircraft so destroying it), before cartwheeling and coming to rest where its bomb load exploded with debris damaging a final aircraft. Miraculously one of the crew was flung clear and survived with the remaining 11 perishing along with one on the ground. The story was in The Aviation Historian issue 19.

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